Objective: To explore the incidence, mortality, trends and time distribution of food poisoning in Hunan Province.
Methods: The data on food poisoning was derived from the Information Office of Hunan Provincial Health Department. Using the trend-test and circular distribution methods, we have described the current situation of food poisoning and tested the central tendency of the peak time points and the peak time zone of food poisoning in Hunan from 2000 to 2009.
Results: On average, the incidence of food poisoning in Hunan from 2000 to 2009 was 0.072 per 100000 population. And the average number of people affected in these incidents was 1.937 per 100000 population. There were no apparent trends in either the number of incidents or people affected between 2000 and 2009 (u=-0.98, P>0.05; u=-1.34, P>0.05, respectively). The average mortality was 0.015 per 100000 population. The trend-test indicated that the average annual mortality decreased significantly from 2000 to 2009 (u=-1.72, P<0.05). Meanwhile the average annual fatality rate was 0.77%. The trend-test revealed statistically significant differences for the average annual fatality rate (u=-1.88, P<0.05). The circular distribution analysis showed that there was a central tendency of the distribution of food poisoning cases, with the average peak time at August 28th and the average peak time zone from June 7th to November 18th for food poisoning from 2000 to 2008.
Conclusion: From 2000 to 2009, there is a significant tendency in the average annual mortality and fatality rate of food poisoning in Hunan. Summer and fall are the high seasons for food poisoning. We should pay attention to the peak time zone, especially the peak time point of food poisoning for food safety monitoring, and strengthen the prevention and control on food poisoning.